I am a work-at-home guy. Seldom do I get a “full nights sleep” defined as at least 8 hours. I find that in the morning times and the evening times are the most productive for me. Often in the afternoons I will grab a nap. Sometimes the nap is very short according to my wife’s standard of what constitutes a nap. Some nights I will get up for a few hours to think, pray or read. Then I go to sleep again.
Now a new study seems to indicate that my pattern may be closer to what mankind has practiced before our modern era.
Typically, mention of our ever increasing sleeplessness is followed by calls for earlier bedtimes and a longer night’s sleep. But this directive may be part of the problem. Rather than helping us to get more rest, the tyranny of the eight-hour block reinforces a narrow conception of sleep and how we should approach it. Some of the time we spend tossing and turning may even result from misconceptions about sleep and our bodily needs: in fact neither our bodies nor our brains are built for the roughly one-third of our lives that we spend in bed.
The article even describes the sleep practices of my favorite baseball team – the Texas Rangers. With late night games and frequent travel, sleep can sometimes be a problem for professional athletes. The Rangers are encouraged to sleep with their hotel curtains open so that the early morning light will rouse them. The team makes room for athletes to get a nap later on in the day before night time games. Reportedly the Rangers feel fresher and more rested.
If it’s good enough for Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, it’s good enough for me.
What about you? Do you struggle with sleep issues? Are naps a part of your routine?